Following on the heels of the recent story about sting operations in Texas where patrons were arrested in bars by undercover cops for drinking too much ("New Tactic: Preemptive Arrests"), this story out of New Mexico:
Police to Breath Test Pedestrians
Albuquerque, May 18. KOBTV Investigators targeting bars for over serving customers intend to add another tool to their belt in coming weeks: They'll be asking for breath tests from pedestrians.
Agents of the Special Investigations Division, which monitors alcohol laws, will be stationing extra officers in downtown Albuquerque. If anyone is seen stumbling out of a downtown bar, he or she could be asked to blow into a portable breathalyzer…
(SID agent Jim) Plagens says that any pedestrian approached by an agent and asked to submit to a breath test is perfectly within his or her rights to refuse. 'Then we send them along their way 'so long as there are no other violations,' he said.
So long as there are no other violations….aka, "flunking the attitude test": How many cops who don't like being told "no" will decide that the uncooperative citizen is "drunk in public"? How many citizens will not feel coerced into taking the test? And how many cops will tell — not ask — the citizen to blow into the device?
(Thanks to Jeanne Pruett.)